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Housing Ombudsman names first Independent Reviewer of Service Complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has appointed a former Chief Legal Ombudsman as its first Independent Reviewer of Service Complaints.

Adam Sampson, who was also CEO of Shelter for seven years, will support the Ombudsman in learning from complaints about its service to continually improve its performance.

Sampson said: “Having spent seven years running Shelter, I am passionate about ensuring that people get the service from housing providers that they deserve. And having run Ombudsman services, I know all too well how important it is for Ombudsman schemes to treat complainants and providers with fairness, tact and efficiency.”

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “I am absolutely delighted Adam is joining as our first Independent Reviewer of Service Complaints. His rich experience as both an Ombudsman and of housing will bring tremendous value to the role. As an Ombudsman, we focus on quality and service and it is important we model the service we expect in others. Learning from our complaints is something we continuously do. Adam’s independent, rigorous and transparent approach will support us with that.”

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The Independent Reviewer will consider a sample of complaints against the Housing Ombudsman service and how effectively they were handled, including timeliness and responsiveness.

Where complaint handling standards are not met the Independent Reviewer will be able to make recommendations for improved practice. The Independent Reviewer’s reports will be published on the Housing Ombudsman’s website from 2021-22 and summarised in its Annual Report and Accounts.

The role is a three-year fixed term appointment,10 days per year. The Independent Reviewer will not consider the outcome of determinations or other decisions made on individual cases.

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